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THE DISH: 786 Kebab & Curry

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786 Kebab & Curry serves, from bottom left clockwise, tandoori chicken, saffron rice, homemade naan, chicken seekh kebabs and chicken tikki masala.

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The Buford eatery boasts fast Indian and Pakistani cuisine that is both healthy and fresh.

ON THE MENU

• Chaat samosa — Crispy stuffed potato patty with a spicy garbanzo bean curry, chutney and onions, $6

• Butter chicken — Chicken tikka cooked with a creamy masala sauce, then garnished with butter, $8

• Daal makhi — Lentils tempered and seasoned with selected spices, $6

• Punjabi burger — Potato patty covered with gram flour and served with lettuce, tomato, raita (a cooling yogurt sauce), tomatoes and onion on a bun, $7

Map

786 Kebab and Curry

786 Kebab and Curry

786 Kebab & Curry

1905 Mall of Georgia Blvd., Buford

678-546-0085

www.786kc.com

Open since: Sept. 10

Owners: Sajid and Kony Akhtar

Location: 786 Kebab & Curry is located in the same shopping center as Bassett Furniture Direct and next to the Ethan Allen store.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays

Atmosphere: The inside of 786 Kebab & Curry is clean and organized with wooden tables throughout the space. Guests enter, order their food from the counter (either by name or its number) and take a seat until the meal is ready.

While waiting around, you can either watch one of the televisions or take a look at the art on the walls. The restaurant is decorated in traditional Indian scenes, like a woman making naan, women fetching water from a well, a woman sewing clothes and an image of Indian spices, including curry, cumin, turmeric and cloves.

Although Kebab & Curry serves a specific cuisine, people from all cultures eat at the restaurant -- many of them have never eaten this type of food before.

"About 90 percent of the people who come in haven't had Indian food before," owner Kony Akhtar said. "But when they try it, they love it. Some people come back many times a week."

Menu: While the food is from India and Pakistan, owner Sajid Akhtar learned how to cook in London. He takes pride in his dishes because he uses a blend of spices -- keep in mind that does not mean it will burn your mouth -- and fresh ingredients.

"We have an amazing amount of spices that we mix, that's why I call it the 'aroma of India,'" he said. "When you eat it, you will enjoy it, not say, 'Oh, Indian food is too spicy. I can't eat it.'"

The kitchen is open to the dining area, so guests can watch as the cooks make the meals by hand because they are made to order, including the naan. The Indian bread is pressed and thrown in the tandoor oven until baked each time someone purchases an order.

The most popular dishes include the chicken tikka masala (chicken served in a creamy tomato sauce), tandoori chicken, which is cooked in the tandoor oven, and the kebabs, which are prepared differently than one would expect.

"We have a kebab grill with charcoals that we ordered from London. The food tastes so differently on the charcoal grill," Kony Akhtar said. "You can't get this type of flavor anyway else."

Things you might not know: The Akhtars are hosting a grand opening for the restaurant Oct. 12-14 with food specials, activities for children and a live DJ.